Hummers, including the military versions, are not your regular SUV. They are bigger and consume more fuel, and some of their designs may not conform to DOT regulations.
So can you use Hummers on public roads in the USA?
What of military Hummers?
In this article, we look at the street-legal status of civilian Hummers and how to make your military Humvee usable on public highways.
Are hummers street legal?
All civilian Hummers including the H1, H2, and H3 models are street legal. But not all military Hummers are street legal. You need to do some modifications before you can drive a military Hummer on public roads.
Let’s dig into the details here!
You may need to do some modifications and jump bureaucratic hoops to get them on the pavement.
Despite their humongous size, civilian Hummers require no extra modification or paperwork to hit public highways.
Recently, it has become easy to buy military Humvees as the Pentagon offloads the vehicles for the newer and more powerful Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.
Now you can get military Humvees at rock-bottom prices through government-affiliated auction websites like GovPlanet.
However, it’s difficult to make a Humvee street legal in most states.
Rules For Hummers Per State
Most states have complicated processes for registering a military Hummer. They only allow the vehicle for off-roading.
A few prohibit their registration in all circumstances, so you can’t even register them for off-roading. But some places are more lenient.
Let’s look at states that allow Humvees on the street and vice versa.
States That DON’T Allow Humvees on Public Roads
The following states don’t have any data regarding the street-legality of military Hummers.
- New Hampshire,
- New Jersey,
- New Mexico,
- New York,
- North Dakota,
- Rhode Island,
- West Virginia,
States Where It Is Possible to Register Your Humvee
It may be possible to register your Humvee in the following states.
- North Carolina,
- South Carolina,
- and the US Virgin Islands.
In the states where you can register Humvees, the process is lengthy, complicated and frustrating.
Sometimes, the DMV guys will reject your application after much paperwork.
Some states like Wisconsin and Virginia allow you to register for military Hummers using Collector plates.
You can also bypass the red tape by suggesting it is for farm use or using another name apart from Humvee or HMMWV in the paperwork.
Places like Texas require extensive modifications and DMV inspections and you may end up with off-road permits only.
Here’s few facts on our article about Are Hummers Still Made? It’s Complicated
Florida used to permit on-the-road titling of Humvees, but it seems the state now limits titles to off-road use.
7 Tips To Make Your Humvee Street Legal
There is no easy way to make a Humvee road legal, but some methods are easier than others.
Below, we look at the different ways of titling your HMMWV for on-the-road use.
1) Get a Title During the Auction
There are two ways to buy a decommissioned Humvee. The first is through GovPlanet.com or related sites and the other method is via private dealers.
If you buy through GovPlanet, you can use the SF97 form that comes with the vehicle to get a regular title.
The form allows you to convert the bill of sale to a street-legal vehicle title.
To get the SF97, buyers need to fill an End User Certificate pledging that you will not ship the vehicle outside of the United States. Uncle Sam wants to ensure surplus defense articles don’t fall into the wrong hands.
Next, you will submit the VTR-135-M form to your local DMV. The VTR-135-M allows you to apply for license plates designated “Former Military Vehicle”.
GovPlanet sells a bill of sale and a title. With the title, you should be able to register the Humvee easily at your DMV.
Unfortunately, it can be extremely difficult to title the truck for use on public roads. But it is doable.
If you bought your Humvee from a private dealer, the most important thing is to make sure it’s not stolen.
Don’t be surprised, but people steal these vehicles from military facilities. So the first step is to check the VIN and double-check the bill of sale.
2) Buy a Humvee in Good Condition
Registering a Humvee for road use is hard enough. But it can become almost impossible to pass DMV scrutiny if the vehicle has issues.
Whether you are buying through an auction or from a private person, it’s vital to get a Humvee in the best condition.
Not only will this reduce the cost of getting it into shape, but it will also make it easier to pass inspections.
3) Get Your Paperwork Ready
Humvees are not regular vehicles, so the people at your local DMV may not even know what to do about them.
Your job is to make their work easy by providing every document required for the registration.
If you buy from GovPlanet, get the SF-97, bill of sale and a title.
Research every other paperwork you need to submit and have them ready when you go to the DMV.
If your paperwork is in order, the chances of DMV officials scrutinizing you will be lower.
4) Avoid Calling the Vehicle Known Terms
In some states, Humvee owners have reported successfully titling their trucks for on-road use by using less common terms in the paperwork.
Instead of writing Humvee, HMMWV or Hummer, you may avoid rejection with designations like M998, Utility Truck or AMG UT.
People have also reported that you need to be extremely patient and cool-headed during the registration.
DMV offices are usually understaffed and they have to deal with different characters every day.
So try to be courteous to them even if you encounter problematic personnel.
Rushing can lead to a denial of your application after going through a lot of trouble to buy the vehicle.
Your actions may even make it more difficult for other potential Humvee owners to title their truck for road use.
5) Register As An Antique Vehicle
It might also be possible to make your Humvee street legal by registering it as an antique car.
This will require getting a Collector’s license plate and the process is straightforward.
You can try this route if the regular title is too difficult to get.
6) Transfer Title From a Favorable State
This is one of the easiest ways to make your Humvee road legal.
Get it titled in a state with favorable laws and then transfer the title to your home state.
The only problem is that states that allow straightforward registration of military Hummers are few. If you can afford the expenses and have the time to travel, consider this option.
7) Outsource the Titling
Another easy but costly way to get your Humvee on the road is to outsource the titling to an agency.
There are several firms that help people title different assortment of non-road legal vehicles.
These companies can title everything from military trucks, ATVs, golf carts, kit cars and everything in between.
But make sure you are dealing with a reputable firm that won’t be cutting corners to get your military truck on public highways.
Go for agencies that offer a 100 percent guaranteed refund should the application fail. That way, you don’t lose money after going through the stress of buying and refurbishing a Humvee.
Whether you intend to go through the titling of your Humvee by yourself or want to use an agency, it’s important to realize that success is not guaranteed.
It might be possible to bypass DMV and DOT restrictions if the vehicle is above 25 years. But there are too many bottlenecks and official red tape along the way.
So be prepared for the unsavory reality of using your Humvee for only off-roading and over-landing.
Also, watch out for changes in legislation across different states.
Some states would have updated their legislation to allow the trucks while others may have toughened their stance.
It helps to know the status of Humvees in your state before buying one if you intend to use them on public roads.
Hummers, i.e., the civilian trucks modeled after the Humvee are street legal in every part of the USA. Cheap gas makes them more attractive nowadays even though production ceased nine years ago.
But Humvees are not so lucky. Since the DOD started auctioning these warhorses through several affiliate sites, many people have bought the trucks.
However, titling Humvees for public roads is difficult in most states. You can either go through the lengthy process yourself or pay an agency to do the work.
Getting Humvees street-legal may be hard, but it’s not impossible. You will need a lot of patience.